Sogou is the number 2 search engine in China. Unfortunately being number 2 means Sogou has only about 3% market share, compared to the 70% market share of Baidu, the number 1 search engine. So as an underdog, how do you catch up? In fact Sogou literally means “Search Dog” in Chinese.
The answer, according to the CEO of Sogou Mr. Xiaochuan Wang, is the application of Artificial Intelligence, in particular the use of natural language in searches. In a talk at RISE 2017 titled “Thoughts on AI Technology and Application”, Mr. Wang explained that Sogou has invested substantial resources in the voice recognition and speech capability at Sogou. By communicating with computers using natural language, the interaction between human and machines can be raised to a higher level to enhance human productivity. In fact, machines should aim not only to recognize human speech, but also emotions and gestures, just like how real human interact. Mr. Wang showed a video showing how a robot from Sogou participated in a game show. The participants were asked a wide range of questions from history and literature. The Sogou robot easily beats the human players with speed and accuracy. The answer is almost instantaneous. The voice recognition is 100% accurate.
Another impressive technology showed off by Sogou is the navigation system in automobiles. Not only the voice from the system is natural, but the speech recognition is highly accurate. The system not only does navigation, but will also make recommendation on maintenance and even cleaning. With all the impressive technologies maybe Sogou will not stay number 2 for long!